The Ugly Duckling

Warning(s): Horny owls, impressive cocks, Grey Goose, and jokes that aren't actually funny.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: This was originally written for the Do_Me_Veela fest over on LiveJournal based on a prompt from Appleling. Endless gratitude to my prereaders, my Brit-picker, and my beta: sapphirescribe, twilightmundi, omi_ohmy, and arcadianmaggie, respectively. You chickadees are flocking fantastic. ;)


Smirking, Draco squared his shoulders as he looked into his favourite mirror. He peered in closer and was pleased to determine there was not a wrinkle to be found—even though he was officially a year older.

Merlin, his new moisture cream was really doing wonders for his skin. If he didn't know better, Draco would have said his skin was practically glowing.

Not too shabby, he preened, turning to the side to examine his appearance from a different angle.

He ran his tongue over his teeth and smiled into the mirror, looking closely. He'd have to thank Pansy for sharing that new tooth whitening spell as well the moisturiser recipe. His teeth had never looked brighter.

Straightening back up, he was brushing imaginary lint from his robes when he saw it: a small feather rested atop his head.

Well, that was odd, wasn't it? Perhaps it came from one of the owls that had stopped by to deliver birthday gifts. He'd been getting quite a few, as was entirely appropriate for the occasion; a wizard didn't turn twenty-one every day, now did he? Draco reached up to brush the feather from his head before it further ruined his carefully styled hair.

He frowned. The feather was a stubborn little bugger; it refused to come loose. In fact—ouch!—it seemed—ow, ow, OW!—rather stuck—fuck!—to his head.

Bloody hell. Draco grimaced, got a nice firm grip on that little feather and then yanked as hard as he could.

MOTHER OF—FUCK!

Tears sprang to his eyes at the sharp pain. Merlin's most ancient saggy arse! That HURT!

Draco rubbed his head and examined the feather he'd pulled from his scalp. It was off-white and mottled with light browns and greys. Why in Salazar's name was such a horrid thing stuck to his head? Had he accidentally gotten some potion on his scalp? He'd been brewing the day before—just more of his standard eye cream—but perhaps in its unfinished state, it had interacted with his styling pomade, and...caused a feather to grow? Hmm. Perhaps not.

Well, he didn't have time to figure it out just then, did he? His friends were due to arrive in mere moments. He shook his head and set the feather down on his bureau, wincing as the pain blossomed once more.

Fuck.

Now he'd have to do his hair all over again.

~oOo~

Draco knew it was bad.

Very, Very Bad.

What was he going to do? Not six days after his twenty-first birthday and he could no longer deny that his life was officially over.

At first it hadn't been too terrible. The morning after his birthday he'd had two ugly little feathers stuck to his head. Concerning, of course, but he'd torn them from his scalp and gone on his way once the pain had subsided. The same with the third feather, which had sprouted from behind his ear just before tea.

The morning after, though, there were eight, and plucking them all had become nearly unbearable, not to mention, the wounds weren't healing well and Draco anticipated they'd leave him with hideous scars.

Completely unacceptable.

After every attempt at Vanishing the feathers had failed, he'd spent the day in his father's abandoned study, searching for potion side effects and unintended reactions to over-application of moisturisers. He'd have asked his father directly, but it took months to cut through the red tape necessary to contact a prisoner in Azkaban. And he refused to bother his mother as she continued her slow recovery at a health spa in a remote French village. Draco remembered how easily she'd become too attached to certain potions for her frazzled nerves after the war, and he refused to worry her further.

By the fourth morning, Draco had more than a dozen feathers growing out of his head, poking out from between clumps of his blond hair. Worse, several were beginning to emerge from his back, just behind his shoulders. As he was no longer able pull out all of the feathers himself, he had ordered one of the house elves to pluck them while he bit into a pillow and tried not to scream like a little Hufflepuff.

On the sixth morning, however, his problem had substantially escalated. He was in trouble. Very Serious Trouble. Draco winced at his reflection in the mirror.

Feathers continued to emerge from his head, sticking out at odd angles, but now his back had started sprouting feathers as well—long and thick, ugly brown in colour with even uglier grey spots, and they seemed to emerge from just behind his shoulder blades. Meanwhile his chest had patches of light down, covering it in uneven tufts and awkward clumps. And his legs! They werewell, no, those were the same actually. They'd always been rather birdlike.

Birdlike?!

Draco couldn't breathe. He was turning into a bird.

He must have been cursed, had to have been. He ran to his father's study; he certainly couldn't go out into public in such a state, and no one had a larger collection of tomes dedicated to curses and dark arts than his father did anyway.

There was nothing to help him in his father's books, though, and after hours and hours of searching, he sat back in his chair, and realized he had only one choice: To throw particularly large tantrum and get sloshed out of his tailfeathers.

~oOo~

Draco awkwardly crawled over to his Floo, swaying as he made is way while gripping the nearly empty bottle of vodka in one hand.

"Potter," he spit out. "Potter!" He waited a few seconds for a response before collapsing in a fit of giggles. Merlin, he'd forgotten to open the Floo connection. Salazar help him, he was becoming as stupid as a—hic—bird. Well, as stupid as—hic—an unfortunately feathered manbird filled to his eyeballs in Grey Goose was, any—hic—anyway.

And now he had the hiccups. Hic. Bloody fantastic. He swigged the last of the alcohol and half-heartedly tossed the bottle aside, ignoring it as it rolled across the rug until it clunked into the base of his mother's favourite settee. He then wrapped a scarf around his head to cover the feathers sticking out from his hair.

Imagine. Needing Potter's help. Again. He needed another—hic—drink.

Opening the Floo, he tried Firecalling again. "Potter! Pott—hic—Potter!"

Potter popped into view, running his hand through his hair. "God, Malfoy, what's the matter this time? It's nearly midnight!"

"S'bad, Potter. I don't—hic—dunno what t'do."

"Malfoy, you can't Firecall me every time think you have a problem."

"I don't! I didn't, last week—hic—when my trousers were inexplicabitally stoo—er, too—tight after I ate all the birthday cake. And I left you alone—hic—when Bitsy ran away. She came back, by the way. I forgot I sent her for more—hic—cake. I mean, lip balm. I mean—hic—cake."

Mmm. Cake.

Harry groaned. "I've got to start shutting my Floo."

"Look, Potter. Just this one last thing. Hic. I need you to Unspeakable something for me. And you can't unspeak of this to anyone." Draco shook his head; that wasn't right. Unspeak? Speak? Hic. "Just don't tell anyone, okay? I know you think you finished Unspeakable-izing the Manor—"

"Six months ago, Malfoy. I finished my assignment six months ago. There are no more curses or dark magic around the Manor. None."

"Pish posh, Potter. Hic. Then how do you explain this?" Draco said, drunkenly crawling through the Floo into Potter's sitting room. He peeled off the scarf and shook his head free.

Harry's green eyes widened.

They widened still further when Draco stood up and began to take off his robes. "Uh, Malfoy? Look, I know we agreed to put the past behind us, but this is a bit more than—" Harry trailed off, blushing furiously, when Draco spun around to show him the feathers that were growing from his shoulders.

"Fuck!"

"I know! I've been cursed. Just look at me! I'm turning into a bird! A bird!" Draco squawked. "I'm a birdman. A giant ugly feathery birdman. My life is ruined. Merlin, A.K. me now, just do it. Get it over with!" Draco collapsed to onto Potter's recliner in dramatic fashion, his arm draped tragically over his eyes, hiccuping twice in the process. "Please? For me?"

Sighing deeply, Potter ran a hand over his face. "Fine, fine. I'll help. But this is the last time."

Draco closed his eyes and curled up in the chair, suddenly very tired. He smacked his lips. Water too, that'd be good. He wondered if Potter had any wa...

"Malfoy? Are you asleep?"

"Hmm? What was that?" Draco blinked and started getting to his feet. "I'll be going now. S'late. And, you know, the early bird...gets rid of his wings." Hmm, that didn't sound quite right, did it? Eh, no matter.

Stumbling en route to the Floo, he grabbed Potter's arm to stay upright. "I'll let the elves know you'll be by tomorrow to get started."

Potter just nodded dumbly and Draco proceeded the rest of the way to the fireplace without substantially losing his balance.

"Er, Malfoy? Your robes?" Harry picked them up off the ground and held them out to Draco. "And it'll have to be tomorrow evening. I'm already snowed under at work as it is, and Kingsley'll have my arse if I start taking on extra cases," he added as Draco snagged the robe and wrapped it around himself, suddenly shy under Potter's gaze.

"Don't look at me, Potter. I'm hideous," he said, tossing a handful of Floo powder into the hearth and stepping back into the Manor. The last thing he saw was the thoughtful look on Potter's face.

~oOo~

Harry joined Draco the next evening after dinner, which led to Potter casting numerous diagnostic spells over Draco's person, leaving him feeling entirely more vulnerable than he would have liked. Didn't help that Potter kept staring at his plumage, either. But while Draco wished he didn't always have to enlist the help of the socially inept Potter, he didn't know any other Unspeakables, especially ones willing to pop by the Manor, and even less so to solve an unofficial case.

And, as Draco grudgingly admitted when the yellow diagnostic haze around his head turned iridescent, Potter was relatively good with a wand. Unpleasant as it was, Harry was sure to find a way to save him from his repulsive feathered state; he was definitely Draco's best bet. At least he wasn't entirely unpleasant to look at these days, if one liked such things as famous scars and thick glasses and extra eyebrows.

Still, Potter was taking his time, wasn't he? They'd been at it for hours now. Potter was getting sweaty with the effort and even Draco was glistening (sweating, of course, being for Philistines).

"Huh," Harry said then, looking curiously at Draco and flicking his wrist as he muttered another incantation.

Draco arched an eyebrow. For the love of all things pureblood...Maybe Potter wasn't so adept after all. Why he using that spell anyway?

"What, Malfoy?" Harry asked testily.

"What?" Draco asked, the model of complete innocence.

"Whatever you have to say, just say it." Potter pushed his glasses up his nose.

"I was merely wondering why you were attempting to Levitate me." Draco smirked. "Besides, it's Wingardium Leviosa, Potter. Obviously. Not Wingardia Revelio. Any first year knows—ohhh—Ohh!" Draco's eyes went wide as he felt a jolt of electricity shoot through his body, down to his toes and out to his fingertips before returning to his chest. No, not his chest, precisely, but more like his back.

Fuck.

Draco pinched his eyes shut and tried to deny the fact that the feathers behind his shoulders had tripled in quantity, doubled in length, and were now entirely flappable.

"Well, look at that," Harry mused.

"Potter!" Draco growled. "YOU GAVE ME iWINGS!"/i

"Well, no, it appears your parents gave you wings. Technically."

"What?" Draco bristled. "My parents idid not/i curse me."

"No, they didn't. Being part Veela isn't a curse, after all."

"What?" Draco screeched.

"I assume your father never mentioned—"

Draco shot him a scathing look. "He was apparently too busy trying to cater to the Dark Lord's every whim to have that heart to heart. Bloody hell! How is this even possible? My father never had wings." Draco flapped his new appendages.

"I'm actually not sure." Harry looked thoughtful. "I'm no expert on Veela but I could talk to Fleur or some of the other Unspeakables—"

"Absolutely not. Not a word," Draco reminded him. He would die if anyone found out. Absolutely die.

Potter hesitated. "I'll do my best. Your privacy is ensured, of course—I am an Unspeakable—but I may have to consult with a few experts."

Draco shook his head. "No; no one can know."

Harry looked pointedly at Draco's wings. "Do you want me to figure out what's going on here or not? I'm assuming you don't want wings for the rest of your life, but I have plenty of other cases to keep me busy if you'd prefer to figure this out on your own."

Huffing, Draco glared at Potter. His options were few and he knew it. The urge to pity himself was strong indeed. "Fine. Do what you must," he said after clearing his throat, hating how his voice cracked a little regardless.

"Right then. I'll Firecall you in a few days when I know more," Potter said.

"Yeah, I'll just be here. Building a nest or something." Draco attempted a smile with limited results.

Potter nodded and headed for the Floo.

"Uh, wait. Potter? Aren't...well...aren't Veela supposed to be...you know." Draco gestured to his various clumps of oddly dappled feathers. "I mean, just look at me."

Furrowing his brows, Harry asked, "Supposed to be...?"

"Ugh, you know. Beautiful...and...you know...gorgeous. Handsome, perhaps," Draco clarified, his face reddening.

Potter snorted. "Bye, Malfoy," he said, stepping into the Floo. "I'll be in touch."

After Harry disappeared, Draco wandered over to the mirror in the entrance hall and stared at his reflection, cringing when he saw the ugly mess of feathers sticking out in all directions. What was he going to do?

~oOo~

Potter owled Draco later that week suggesting that they meet again at the Manor after work to discuss some of his findings and ideas. Draco accepted. He was, after all, a bird, and so far as he knew, the creatures weren't expected to have particularly full social calendars. Merlin knew he wasn't going out into public in his state, and he'd told Pansy and Blaise he'd contracted chicken pox (close enough, he decided), so his friends were perfectly content to let him recuperate in private.

Regardless, Potter had terrible timing. Draco had been mid-meltdown when the house elf had shown him in.

Potter had looked at him with those wide green eyes full of something akin to sympathy, and despite himself, Draco's eyes watered anew.

He tried to explain then, because of course Potter had asked what was wrong, so they sat there on his mum's favourite loveseat as Draco sniffled and explained how that very morning he'd noticed his nose appeared pointier than normal—a concerning trend, he insisted, as it meant he was almost certainly growing a beak!—and then in the afternoon he'd taken his broom outside to go flying and as a result he had very nearly eaten a worm.

By accident, of course. But still. A Worm.

He transfigured a stray cushion into a handkerchief and blew his nose on it, honking loudly, before peeking over to see Harry's reaction.

Potter looked doubtful. "You ate a worm."

"Yes!" Draco insisted. "Well, no. Technically, I didn't. But I almost did."

"How? You said you were flying."

"I was. Just...very low to the ground." Draco bit his lip.

"Low. To the ground." Harry frowned.

"Fine, Potter, I wiped out," he admitted. God, anyone would break under such intense interrogation.

"You wiped...How...You have wings, Malfoy!" Potter snorted.

"Yes; I know," Draco said hotly. "I fell off my broom when a sparrow flew too close and I landed in the gardens and almost ate a worm and...and...the soil was all dirty, Potter. And I have giant, ugly wings and possibly a beak. Thanks for reminding me!" Draco wailed.

"Er...I never mentioned the beak bit," Potter offered.

Draco blew his nose again in response.

"Look, Malfoy, you don't have a beak, and you might have wings, but they're not ugly in the least. You keep saying that, but it's really not true. And we'll find a way to get rid of them anyway. And as for the sparrow, well, I'm sure it was quite small and—"

"Are you calling me fat?" Draco gasped.

"What? How in Merlin's name? No! Malfoy, no. Bloody hell, you're gorgeous. How in Godric's name can you not see it? You were always handsome—okay, well, not always. When we were little you were a pointy git—but then you were handsome and now you're gorgeous—Merlin help me for telling you—but anyway, I know you hate it, hate the feathers, hate the Veela bit, and I get it, I do, but I personally have never seen anything more beautiful in my life. So there. Now just...please stop. Stop tormenting yourself. Ugh!" Harry groaned and sat back hard against the back of the sofa. "I'm so going to regret saying that, aren't I? I really should think before I speak."

Draco side-eyed him. "Don't mock me, Potter."

Harry opened his mouth to respond when Draco's owl, Pierre François, swooped in. It landed on Draco's shoulder and hooted peculiarly before flitting over to Draco's other shoulder, hooting again. Pierre then began cocking his head and showing off his white underbelly feathers.

"He keeps doing that," Draco muttered as Pierre glared pointedly at Harry. "I can't figure out what—" The owl interrupted yet again by fluttering its feathers once more and tucking his head into Draco's neck, cooing spectacularly. The whole thing caused Potter to burst into laughter, earning another glare from Pierre.

It was only then that Draco realized. Pierre was..."Oh hell no." Draco stood up abruptly, throwing his hands in the air and waving off Pierre, who flew off hooting. His owl was flirting with him. "I give up."

Harry continued to laugh his arse off, so Draco flipped him the bird. "I'm glad you find this so funny."

"All right, all right," Potter said, taking a few deep breaths, his face all red from laughing. "Don't worry about it. Seriously. We'll figure this out." Harry stood up. "Look, clearly it has been a rough day. You better go make amends with Pierre. I'm going to go. I'll just Owl you tomorrow instead."

"Yeah. All right." Draco nodded and led Harry to the front door so he could Apparate home.

"Oh, and Malfoy? They really are...nice. The wings." Harry reached out and, after Draco nodded once in permission, stroked his hand along the top of one of Draco's wings. "They're pretty. And soft."

Draco rolled his eyes as Potter waved goodbye, ignoring the way the simple words had warmed his belly. Sighing, he then went about locating some of Pierre's favourite treats. Clearly they needed to have a little talk about the birds and the—er, not quite entirely birds.

~oOo~

Draco refolded Harry's letter and sighed.

Stress triggered, Potter had suggested. As if Draco didn't know Veela turned into mad Harpies when they got angry. But unlike Draco, none of them stayed that way, did they?

Draco read through Harry's suggested stress management techniques: plenty of sleep (as if Draco could fall asleep knowing horrid feathers sprouted from his flesh as he slumbered), carefully monitored diet (Harry didn't actually think Draco was eating worms, did he?), and even sex (Merlin, Potter'd grown rather forward)!

Except, of course, Draco wasn't exactly getting any of the latter, nor did he seem about to any time soon, a thought which only only depressed him further. How exactly did Potter think Draco would be pulling when he looked like a largely denuded avian?

He responded to Potter, explaining as much, but Harry had only written back, Go out. Use glamours.

I don't think so, Draco scrawled after plucking a stray feather from his shoulder to use as a quill (the still jealous Pierre had flown off with his original). Thinking for a moment about the rumours that circulated about the Saviour's preferences, Draco decided to take a risk. Wizarding establishments won't present any opportunity that might interest me, he wrote.

Harry promptly responded. Hmm, in that case, I'll pick you up on Friday at eight. Birds of a certain feather...

Absolutely not, Potter. I want no part in this. Draco scribbled this last note and sent it off. He'd heard Muggles had locations specifically for those who shared his proclivities, but he wanted no part of such shenanigans. Muggles made him nervous. What exactly did one say to them? Accio here often?

Harry's return owl landed in his lap just then, so Draco smoothed out the note it carried.

Chicken?

Draco gripped his quill so hard it snapped. Fortunately, he had a ready supply close at hand. Very carefully, he sharpened another, dipped it into his ink.

No fucking way, you muppet. But then, changing his mind, he scribbled it out and dipped his quill into the ink once more.

Half eight. I'll be the one in the feathers.

~oOo~

"I'm not going."

"C'mon, Malfoy. I'm sure it's not that bad," Potter said, calling through the door to Draco in his dressing room.

"It's worse." Draco stared horrified at his latest glamour attempt as reflected in his full length mirror.

The glamour spells he knew clearly weren't strong enough to hide all of the feathers and applying them in layers had led to his current state; one of his wings was invisible while the other remained largely unaffected except for a triangular chunk towards the middle that had become jet black. Not to mention the feathers on his head had lost their soft barbs, leaving only the stripped shafts sticking out of his scalp. And, sure, the down on his chest had nearly disappeared, but so had one of his nipples and his right ankle was looking inexplicably blurry. Draco burst into hysterical laughter. It was that or cry—again—and he refused to add red eyes to his already hideous appearance.

"That's it, I'm coming in." In less than a second, Potter burst through the lock. Draco quickly tightened the towel around his waist before catching Harry's eyes in the reflection of the mirror.

Cringing, Harry looked him over. "Well, we could...hmm..."

"I'm not going. It's hopeless."

Walking around him, Potter took in the damage. "Actually, I have an idea. There may not be a glamour strong enough to hide the wings, so we'll just have to work with them. Do you have a house elf I can borrow?"

Draco nodded warily and called for Lipton, and then watched curiously as Potter whispered in her overly large elf ear. "Can you do that?" Potter asked the elf and she nodded furiously before Apparating away with a pop. He looked at Draco then. "By the way, that was Bitsy, not Lipton. Anyway, close your eyes."

Draco hesitated.

"Trust me, okay?"

Rolling his eyes, Draco nodded and shut them tightly. He soon felt Harry's magic wrapping around him as Potter whispered words to untangle the existing glamours and adjusted them to his liking. He felt exceedingly self-conscious, standing there half naked with his eyes closed, and he quickly found himself covered in goose bumps while he pondered whether Potter had yet made his right nipple reappear.

His eyes flew open and he yelped when he felt Potter's wand tip against his hip, transfiguring his towel into a smoother cloth, though at least that remained knotted tightly around him.

He blinked at his new appearance in the mirror.

"I know you don't like your head feathers, so I focused the glamour there and on your chest. I think that's more sustainable this way." Potter looked pleased.

Draco studied his appearance. Sure enough, his chest once again looked smooth and his hair was long around his face, no longer disturbed by the feathers that he knew were actually still there. Potter had transformed the towel into a white wrap that draped artfully over and around his form, like the robes that wizards wore in ancient times.

He squared his shoulders. His giant brown and grey wings were still there, of course, framing his appearance. But still...it wasn't completely terrible.

"I'm not going barefoot," Draco said, just to be difficult.

Harry smiled a funny little half smile, seemingly amused by Draco's predicament. "I know that, you git. Do you have sandals?"

"You're lucky they're in season, Potter." Draco disappeared into his closet, emerging several minutes later with a pair that he judged would be adequate. He was putting them on when Bitsy reappeared, carrying an ornate golden bow and a small quiver of arrows.

"Excellent." Harry looked pleased as he took them from Bitsy and handed them to Draco. "I'd hoped Firenze would lend these to us for the evening."

Draco put the quiver over his shoulder, feeling foolish, but Potter just grinned at him. "The Muggles won't question the wings?" he asked doubtfully.

"It's near enough to Valentine's Day. They'll think you're brilliant, dressed as Cupid. They'll eat you up."

Draco looked at him horrified and Potter laughed. "No actual biting. Unless, of course, well...ahem." Harry cleared his throat and shifted awkwardly. "Just...they'll think your costume is great; that's all."

Mollified, Draco nodded before looking back in the mirror. He supposed he could pass for a winged god for an evening, provided the glamours held. Draco felt a rush of confidence. He could do this. Besides, the possibility of finding a way to make his wings disappear certainly outweighed his discomfort regarding their plans. A little physical release couldn't hurt either. He looked at Harry then, his unexpected companion for the evening, and realized Potter was dressed in denims and a plain grey tee with a faded Muggle logo across the front. "What are you wearing?"

"This." Harry shrugged, blushing slightly. "Doesn't much matter. I'm not there to—I just want to have a drink."

Flicking his wrist at Potter, Draco cast a standard fitting spell. It was the least he could do in return, he decided, smirking at the improvement. At least now it was evident there was a man beneath the threadbare garments. A fit one at that, Draco couldn't help but notice—if one liked men who were on the short side, with trim waists, and broad shoulders, that is. He most certainly didn't.

Harry huffed but his eyes were dancing. "Are you quite finished?"

Given the opening, Draco lifted his wand to cast a shaving spell to clean up the Potter's significant scruff, but Harry just blocked the spell and grabbed Draco's arm. "I don't think so," Harry laughed. "Ready?"

Draco nodded as the warm arm held tight to his and Harry barely hesitated before Apparating them away.

Muggles may not have known magic, but they brewed many an effective drink, Draco soon discovered. He slowly sipped something bright red in colour and watched the myriad of men surrounding him as they drank at the bar, mingling and writhing in small groups on the dance floor. Harry seemed content to stand beside him as they watched, his back to the bar, occasionally sipping his own concoction.

Draco was getting many looks, but most of them seemed appreciative and he was never one to mind a bit of attention. He winked at a passable Muggle who had been eyeing him.

"You can dance if you want," Harry said then, without looking at him.

Draco studied Harry's profile. They'd been standing by the bar for a while, and he did kind of want to. He wasn't familiar with the Muggle style, but it didn't seem particularly challenging, though he might have to adapt slightly due to his wings. The music's throbbing beat beckoned him.

He thought about asking Potter to dance with him, so he wouldn't be left alone at the bar, but the words got stuck in his throat. Instead, he just asked, "Are you sure?"

Harry nodded and flicked a glance Draco's way before returning his gaze to the dancing masses. Taking a drink from his glass, Harry crunched on some ice, and Draco watched as his throat bobbed accordingly. His eyes stayed on the dancing Muggles, though as far as Draco could tell, he wasn't watching anyone in particular.

"All right then." Draco set down his own drink on the bar. "I guess I'll—"

"Have fun," was all Potter said, wordlessly motioning for Draco to hand over his bow and quiver. "I'll hold it."

Draco handed off the bow before making his way through the crowds of sweaty Muggles that parted naturally before him, receiving some good-natured comments along the way, teasing him for his appearance, but no one came close to guessing his secret. Soon enough, he found himself lost on the dance floor, in synch with those pressed close around him, masses moving as one in a mating dance as old as Merlin. Sometimes he danced alone, other times with other men who approached him, allowing a few of them who piqued his interest to pull him closer, run their hands over his chest.

Draco was warm, hot bodies around him, moving in rhythm together. But there was a heat in his stomach that he couldn't deny was caused by something else entirely: every time he looked up, he found Potter staring at him.

Again and again Potter's green eyes held his across the crowded space. Draco felt his body grow warmer until his skin felt on fire and it had nothing to do with the Muggles pressed against him.

"Shit," Draco whispered, shivering despite the plentiful bared flesh surrounding him. He felt his cheeks flush; he was certainly as red as those drinks they were serving. And maybe it was the damned drink, but he couldn't deny it; he liked it. He liked Potter watching him.

The man he was dancing with ran his hands unapologetically over Draco's body until they landed on his ass and pulled them tighter, and Draco could feel the man against his hip.

He glanced up again to find Potter still watching. It was very distracting.

Biting his lip, he returned his attention to the man with him, just in time to feel him drag his mouth along Draco's neck as he jutted his hips and stepped in time with the foreign Muggle music.

It wasn't as though his dancing partner grinding against him wasn't attractive; he was actually fairly handsome—tall and all dark eyes and olive skin and even his hair met Draco's exacting standards. His lips were spectacular, the sort of lips that made men imagine extremely dirty things, and he twisted them often into a smirk that Draco had to admit was extremely effective.

But instead of staring at the lush red lips or concentrating on the hand that gripped his hip, Draco looked up again for what had to be the twelfth time, drawn by an urge stronger than his own will, glancing at the bar to find Potter once more.

However, Harry was nowhere to be found. Bereft, Draco scanned the crowds; Potter was shorter than most of the other men in the crowd, but Draco somehow knew he'd be able to spot him anywhere. Except here, apparently. Potter was gone. Unless—

"The loos," Draco choked out, stepping back from the man attached to him. That's where Harry had to have gone.

"Fuck yeah," the man groaned. "This way."

"I, oh, that's not—oh!" Draco squeaked as the man grabbed Draco's arm and tugged him toward the loo, weaving through the crowds and pulling Draco with him.

But Harry wasn't there, nor in the dimly lit hallway leading to the lavatory. Draco felt the heat drain out of him.

"I should g—" Draco started to say as he looked around the dark space, but the man simply pressed his mouth to Draco's and then dragged his teeth along his jaw before pushing him against the wall of the hallway, his wings spread open behind him.

Oh. Right. Somehow between the drink and the green eyes that had bored into his, Draco had forgotten that he'd come here to find a bloke to shag. That had been the point, hadn't it? Well, needs must, then. Draco began to kiss back, ignoring the nagging sort of feeling tickling at his brain. It had been Potter's idea, after all, stress management via sexual release. It had sounded good in theory, and the Muggle certainly seemed interested. Any third year could have guessed what would come next and soon the man slid his hand down Draco's chest and began palming Draco's cock beneath his robes as they snogged there against the wall.

Draco's interest grew but couldn't quite believe the man wanted to do such things right there in the hallway with all of the other men passing through, even if it was dark. He discreetly reached for the wand he had tucked away in his robes and whispered a quick privacy spell so everyone else would ignore them, and murmured a quick protection spell as well, just in case. That taken care of, Draco bit back at the man's luscious lips before leaning his head against the wall behind him as the other man fell to his knees and freed Draco's prick from his robes and pants. The man ran his open mouth along Draco's length, hot and messy, dragging his tongue and red, red lips along his dick. Those lips begged to be wrapped around a nice cock and Draco hardened further as the man teased him, drawing gasps from Draco before he finally took him in his mouth. Draco's toes curled in his sandals.

The sight of the man's lips around him put Draco's imagination to shame.

Fuck. So good...

The man was talented, even for a Muggle, he had to admit. Lost in the moment, Draco absently ran his hand along his chest but was startled as his fingered tangled slightly in the feathers that were really still there, only glamoured to be invisible.

Bloody feathers. His stomach clenched at the painful reminder that the man wasn't on his knees because he found Draco desirable, but because he liked how the glamours looked under the dark lighting. The Muggle just wanted to suck off some Greek god, not Draco Malfoy, feathered and decidedly unfabulous. If the man knew what Draco really looked like, he'd never be interested. Draco wondered if he'd ever get laid again without his body completely disguised by spells and costumes.

It was nearly enough to kill his hard-on. Nearly. The Muggle was pretty damn good, after all.

Draco reprimanded himself; his line of thinking was entirely counterproductive so he shoved it into the back of his brain and focused more intently on the bloke on his knees before him, the handsome man who was sucking him thoroughly as he tightened his hand to stroke the base of Draco's prick.

Bobbing his head, slurping and sucking, it was dirty and messy and wicked enough that Draco could force himself back into the present, all spare thoughts disappearing completely as his muscles tightened in response to the man's efforts.

He groaned as he was swallowed deeply, and he dragged his fingertips along the bloke's scalp. A few quick strokes of the man's hand and Draco's release swept over him. Pulling him up afterwards, Draco snogged him as he brought him off with his fist.

He left after, tired, slightly agitated and more than a little grumpy that Potter had deserted him—all alone in Muggle London, too. Draco was lucky he hadn't had but one drink hours earlier; otherwise, Apparating would've been a problem. As it was, he barely found the concealed Apparation point, but from there, at least, it was only a short crack to the front steps of the Manor, and two flights of stairs to his waiting bed.

Maybe in the morning his feathers would be gone, or at least fewer in number.

~oOo~

It didn't work.

Perhaps it was because Draco couldn't sleep after he got home; Potter had said sleep was important. But all he did was toss and turn and cast cooling charms when he was hot and warming charms when he got cold. He got a drink of warmed pumpkin juice—or rather, made the house elves get one for him—and went to the bathroom to splash water on his face. He counted pygmy puffs jumping over fences, tried to recall the names of all the Malfoy peacocks, and then started listing each of the unique ingredients in a batch of his favourite hand lotion—all eighty three of them, in reverse order of usage. He'd even gone ahead and tried to wank, but right in the middle he'd accidentally gotten his no longer glamoured head feathers caught in his headboard and had to call the house elves to help him get free. He hadn't much felt like wanking after that.

Draco's eyes required extra moisturising cream the next morning to make up for the damage of the sleepless night and then another special serum after that to counteract his hysterical sobbing fit that commenced when he realized he was just as feathered as the day before.

He explained all of this to Potter in a lengthy missive that he wrote over the breakfast table, hoping for additional advice, but Potter didn't respond at first. In fact, it wasn't until Draco sent Pierre out with a fourth message that Potter finally owled back.

Not now, Malfoy. Researching. Go take a nap or something.

Draco frowned and grabbed a fresh piece of parchment. Should I go back and try again? Maybe I need regular shagging now that I'm part Veela.

Harry's return owl showed up only minutes later. Yes. No. Maybe. I don't care, Malfoy. Do what you want.

Chewing his lip, Draco thought for a few seconds.

Come with me, he wrote on impulse, sending Pierre away with the note before he could second guess his invitation.

Can't. Busy.

Draco frowned. Well, fine then, he decided. It wasn't as though he needed Potter. He knew how to get to the Muggle establishment now. He sent Lipton and Funky out to get some Muggle money and then retreated to his rooms.

After spending hours getting ready, using the glamours as Potter had and making sure they were perfectly in place once again, Draco Apparated to the club once more. He quickly swallowed the contents of another brightly coloured beverage and threw himself out onto the dance floor.

It wasn't the same, though, and while the Muggle men seemed to like the pout that Draco couldn't seem to erase from his lips, Draco would have none of their attention. He felt fake, empty, even a little bored. As much as he hated to admit it, it wasn't fun dancing without Potter's eyes following his every move.

When some stupid man spilled a pink drink on Draco's robes and he couldn't just Vanish it in a room full of Muggles, he decided he'd had enough.

He was home and in his bed before eleven but sleep eluded him still.

~oOo~

Draco stared in the mirror in dismay. He couldn't make enough moisture cream to correct the dark circles under his eyes after yet another sleepless night.

He sighed. What was the point? Who would even notice his tired eyes when he had masses of horrid brown and grey speckled feathers popping out in all directions? Fuck, it was just his luck to be the only Veela with seemingly permanent plumage, the hideous feathers disfiguring and repulsive.

He stared at the myriad of products littering his dressing table. He picked up a jar of one of his favourite lotions, opened it and looked at the thick cream inside. Its smell reminded him of his mother—she'd taught him to brew it when he was younger, telling him it would one day protect him from the evils of sun damage.

Useless. Why hadn't she taught him a potion that would protect him from the Veela running through his own bloodlines?

His impulse was to throw the little jar at a wall, shattering the container and rendering its contents unusable. Instead, he closed the lid tightly and carefully gathered up some of the other creams and salves into his arms. He took them to his closet and, finding space all the way in the back, tucked the various little containers onto a dusty dark shelf. Then he went back for more of his lotions and moisturisers and ointments and gels and other products that had been part of his regimen, picking them up and hiding them away with the others.

It took seven trips, but eventually all but the most basic toiletries were put away and Draco was left looking across his now empty dressing table into the mirror at himself, raw and imperfect.

It was horrifying.

He just was deciding whether to burst into another fit of tears when he heard an owl pecking at his window. Potter's owl. Draco didn't know how he felt about that—resigned, perhaps—but he let the creature in and fed it a treat before sending it on its way, figuring he'd send Pierre out with his response instead of having Potter's owl wait. There were more than enough birds in his house as it was without Potter's pet, and Pierre's jealous streak still raged—Bitsy and Funky had tried to serve roast duck the evening prior and envious of Draco's rave review, Pierre had flown in and carried away the cooked poultry. Funky had later reported finding it shredded into small bits by the rosebushes lining the Manor's largest fountain.

His life had become completely and utterly absurd, he decided.

He shook his head and opened Potter's letter. Perhaps Harry had some advice.

Possible Veela triggers:
White lilac blossoms
Bee stings
Mooncalf milk
Almond extract
Hydrangea roots
Peanut brittle
Ostriches
The toenails of a righteous squib
-HP

Draco rolled his eyes. Hello to you too, Potter, he groused. Had he somehow managed to piss off Potter too? Ugh. Stupid git. Taking a steadying breath, he studied the list carefully. Nothing rang a bell—protective spells ensured he was never stung by bees and he didn't even like ostrich. In fact, he was positive he hadn't recently eaten any of those items. They couldn't be the cause of Draco's constant feathered state. Sighing, he moved on to the postscript at the bottom of Harry's note:

PS. Blood tests came back. Your father is 4/9ths Veela and your mother is 5/16ths. Not sure how 4/9ths is possible, really, but there you have it.

So it was true then. He really was...he paused to consider the maths...well, more than half Veela. He knew it was possible, of course; Potter's diagnostic spell had indicated as much. But now it was real. And if neither of his parents was more than half Veela, maybe that's why they never had exhibited any of the traits. But between the two of them, there was more than enough running through his veins.

And all that time claiming they were pure bloods. He wondered if they even knew.

If it had been a curse causing him to grow wings, perhaps they'd have been able to break it. But being Veela? That was permanent.

Letting the Potter's note fall to the floor, Draco returned to his bed, shed his fuzzy slippers and robe, and crawled back under his covers. He'd come out when he was ready, and not a moment sooner.

~oOo~

Three days of intensive moping and self-pity later, Draco finally changed out of his pyjamas, took a bath, and put on clean socks.

Potter's initially terse correspondence had become increasingly frequent and concerned in tone as the days passed and Draco's mental state became obvious through his morose responses. Eventually, Harry had informed Draco that he'd be coming by after work Friday, whether Draco wanted him to or not. And since Draco himself was undecided on the matter, and didn't have the energy to fight the stubborn sod regardless, he instructed Funky and Lipton to open the Floo and prepare for Potter's arrival. A bit of depression was no reason to be inhospitable.

When Potter arrived, he refused to accept a seat, instead pacing back and forth before Draco's sitting room hearth. Draco sat on the sofa and just watched, pulling a blanket over himself as he curled up into a little ball. Well, a little ball with giant ugly wings anyway...

"It just doesn't make sense," Potter said, whirling on his right foot to spin and head back in the opposite direction. "Doesn't make sense."

Step, step, step, spin. Step, step, step, spin.

"I doesn't. It just doesn't!" Step, step, step, spin. "Even full Veela, they're only bird-like when under extreme duress. Angry, or protective of their mate, or whatever. They always change back."

Step, step, step, spin.

"We examined known triggers—but you said you haven't had any of those things recently..." He turned to Draco. "You haven't, have you?"

Draco shook his head and Potter resumed his walking, chewing on his fingernail when he wasn't mumbling to himself.

Step, step (chew), step, spin.

"And all of the common treatments Mungo's uses for overwrought Veela to get them to settle haven't worked...making sure they're rested and fed so their blood sugar is stable and that they've...mated. And such."

"Yes, Potter," Draco whined. "I've spent the last three days in bed sleeping, the house elves have always made sure I've eaten well, and shagging sure didn't work."

He didn't miss Potter's cringe, but Harry simply scratched the back of his neck and went back to pacing. iStep, step, step, spin./i

Watching Harry pace, Draco couldn't help but notice Potter possessed what he decided was a particularly excellent bum. Well, excellent if one appreciated a nice arse clad in reasonably tight denims, that is. (Draco did.)

"Yeah, that really should've worked though. I mean, that's the reason Veela have their innate allure, to be able to ensure regular mating with their partners," Potter explained. Step (chew), step, step, spin.

"Well, I wouldn't say I've had regular mating," Draco mumbled. "It was only the once, after all, since the feathers showed up on my birthday, and it was good, but..." He shrugged. It was disturbing to know that he was going to require heavy glamours every time he wanted to get laid in the foreseeable future, not that he was about to share that with Harry. "Wasn't particularly memorable, necessarily, other than the fact that it was a Muggle I was with. I still can't believe I did that," Draco mused, aiming to avoid the subject. "What was in that drink?"

Step, step, step, spin. Step, step (chew), step, spin.

"You only went once? I thought..."

Draco shook his head. "Twice. But no one really appealed to me the second time, so I left."

"No one appealed to you? There are always tons of fit blokes there." Step, step, step, spin.

"I know, Potter, but I just wasn't interested, okay?" Draco knew he sounded defensive but couldn't seem to help it.

Step, step.

Stop.

Potter turned slowly to face Draco, arching his eyebrow in a way that would have been most impressive if it had been adequately plucked. Then again, Draco was in need of more than a little plucking himself these days. He grimaced.

"And why weren't you interested?" Potter paused. "And don't say because they were Muggles, because you looked plenty interested when you were out on the dance floor the night I was there."

"Well, I wasn't the second time. Would you just leave it alone, Potter."

"Tell me."

"Piss off."

"C'mon. Just tell me."

Groaning, Draco put his head in his hands. "Because I'm covered in feathers, you arse. Not just feathers, either. Giant, ugly spotted half-deformed feathers, in stupid clumps and wretched patches. It's repulsive. I'm repulsive. So, yes, the men at the bar were fine. But I wasn't interested, okay? Not interested in another shag with some Muggle who liked the look of me covered in twelve glamours and a costume made partly of centaur toys. Because that's not me. This," he gestured at himself, "This is me. I may not have known it, but it is. It's in my blood. I'm hideous. Fuck. You try getting off in some dirty back hallway of a bloody club with your back aching because your wings are smashed against the wall, all the while you know, deep down, that you're completely undesirable, if only the bloke could see the real you. Let me tell you, it takes quite a lot of effort to get off under the circumstances. So forgive me, Potter, but I'm really not interested in another quick one-off with some Muggle stranger at the moment, much less trying to trick one into doing it regularly. Now can we please come up with a different theory for getting rid of these bloody feathers because, needless to say, the whole regular sex bit is not going to work." Draco huffed, pulled the blanket up around him defensively and stared at his fingers, completely unable to believe he'd just admitted all that to stupid Potter.

"Merlin, Draco." Harry stopped and faced him. "Do you really not see yourself?"

Draco didn't buy it for a moment and he hated being placated. "Don't, Potter. I don't want another one of your pep talks about how you think feathers are beautiful. Maybe they are, sometimes, pristine white elegant ones like Fleur's cousin has or ink black and powerful like the Harpies' spokesperson. But not mine and not on me. So just stop, okay? Stop."

Harry frowned and sat down on the floor with his back against the sofa near where Draco sat. "Fine. So what you are saying is that you only shagged once, under subpar conditions."

"That's what I said."

"Well that's hardly adequate testing of my strongest theory."

Draco glared at the back of Potter's head. "Yes, well, come up with another one. It isn't going to happen."

Harry examined his fingernails. "Well, what if it did?" he asked, his voice sounding slightly higher than normal.

"Bloody hell, Potter! I know you want to be right. And probably you want to help as usual, but you've got to give it up. I'm not going back to the Muggle club. We've got to find another way to get rid of the wings."

"And not only did you shag under subpar conditions," Harry continued, ignoring Draco entirely, "But it wasn't exactly with someone you'd call a partner, right?"

Draco snorted, shifting in his seat to stretch his wings.

"That's what I thought. A bloke would need to have magic to deal with you on a regular basis."

"Hey! That's—well, no, that's true, actually." Draco nodded. "Not that it matters, mind you. No more random one-offs."

"It does seem that it'd be pointless to shag anyone you didn't consider a worthy partner, at least." Harry chewed on his nail again.

"Finally, we agree on something. Now, can we come up with some other—"

"I suppose you'll just have to shag a wizard then." Harry spoke right over top of Draco. "A powerful one, probably, so your Veela bloodlines would respect it."

Draco sighed. "You're mental. I'm not—"

"And more than once, I think. To make up for the time without. I bet your Veela parts would appreciate that," Harry continued.

"Potter," Draco growled. As if he hadn't already felt shitty enough, Potter insisted on emphasizing how slim his chances were to ever get another cock in his bed once, much less repeatedly. "Enough."

"What?" Potter turned to him then, his eyes intent on Draco's.

"Stop. No one will—"

"I will."

Draco froze. "What did you say?"

"I'll do it." Potter's eyes were so very green, locked on Draco's, and his mouth was set, almost daring Draco to accept.

"No. No way, Potter. You're not going to pity shag me, you imbecile."

"Of course not."

"Right, then it's settled. Can we please move on?"

"What if I want to do it for you."

"Son of a Muggle—You're mad! Stark raving! Not only is it a supremely terrible idea to imagine that we could ever have...relations...without hexing each other's bits, but have you seen me?"

"Well, I'd tell you again that I think you're gorgeous with your feathers, but you don't seem inclined to believe me. And I have no interest in hexing your bits. Possibly your stupid stubborn head, but not your bits."

Draco almost believed him. "I'm pretty sure that's not in the Unspeakable handbook."

"Probably not," he admitted. "But yours isn't an official case, after all. It's just one mate offering to help another."

"Is that what we are? Mates?"

"Well, I thought...I mean, you Firecall all the time with these ridiculous problems that can't possibly be real—present wings excepted, of course—so I figured, maybe, that meant you wanted to be mates."

"My problems are all real," Draco sniffed.

"The time we went on the wild goose chase to find your missing pants?"

"How was I to know Lipton had washed them?"

"Bitsy washed them," Potter corrected. "And the time you needed help finishing the wine?"

"Didn't want to be wasteful," Draco replied.

"Even the time when you couldn't unzip your robes in the back?"

"It was stuck."

"You have elves."

"They're too short."

"I'm not particularly tall..." Potter's eyes danced.

"Fine." Draco threw his arms into the air, ignoring the speckled feather that came loose and danced through the air until it landed on Potter's arm. "We're mates."

"And you know what mates do?"

"Get each other off?" Draco rolled his eyes.

"Well, I was going to say they help each other, but if you insist..."

Draco groaned. "We're not shagging."

"I don't think we'd need to full on shag, necessarily. I think if I just helped get you off, that'd be enough." Harry paused. "Do you think the Veela part of you would like that?"

Yes. No. Yes. Fuck. "Absolutely not."

"Oh." Harry frowned. "Maybe I'm not the right person then."

"For Salazar's sake. It's not that, you tit." The idea of Potter touching him like that—Merlin! But he was equal parts terrified and eager, not that he would admit that to Harry.

"Then why not? I know it seems a bit crazy, but I won't mind. You can just, I dunno, close your eyes. And I'll...do the rest. It'll give me a chance to test my theory and stuff." Harry bit his lip. His cheeks were bright pink.

"I can't let you do that."

"I...I wouldn't mind. I like to help...people. And stuff."

"This is a terrible idea."

"Do you have a better one?"

Draco put his face in his hands. "No," he whined. Glancing up, he saw Harry looking inordinately pleased with himself. "And how exactly do you envision this would proceed? Not that we're actually doing it."

"Um, I don't know, actually. I hadn't really thought about it. We'll just have to wing it. Maybe we could go to your bed and I could just sit next to you and, er, you know. Help you wank."

As he pictured the scene, Draco unconsciously glanced at Potter's hands; they were larger and rougher than his own, his fingers thick and strong. This plan was absolutely the most terrible idea ever, he decided as he felt his cheeks flame. Merlin, he wasn't getting enough oxygen to his brain either.

He swallowed. Twice.

"I...er...do you really think it will make my wings go away?"

"Would I offer to do it otherwise?" Potter laughed nervously.

Draco, now that he'd imagined Potter's suggestion, was now having trouble turning off the section of his brain that was focused entirely on the offer. He could see it. See he sort of...wanted it. Hadn't known that was what he wanted before Harry had suggested it, but now, well, Draco wanted it so badly he had trouble keeping his pants on.

He tucked his hands under his arse, sitting on them so they'd stay out of trouble. Troublesome hands. Bad hands. Bad, bad—

He glanced at Potter's hands once more. Oh god...

"If you're sure it's not too much trouble..." he said, hoping Potter hadn't picked up on the tremble in his voice.

"No trouble at all." Harry insisted. "So, um, do you want to..." He gestured vaguely at Draco's trousers. "Or, should I just, you know, Evanesco—"

"No, you may not Vanish my trousers!" Draco protested.

"Well, off with them then."

"Now?" Draco gaped. "You want to do this now?"

Harry shrugged.

Draco bit his lip. Eh, who was he kidding?

"Let's at least retire to my chambers," he said, attempting to gain control of the situation, and stood up as steadily as he could to head purposefully from the room, leaving Potter no choice but to follow. He smiled despite himself as he heard Harry scrambling to keep up, but when he entered his room and went to undo his trousers, he suddenly felt extremely self-conscious. He was normally proud of his physique and had little trouble sharing it with inevitably eager wizards, but now he simply felt awkward and unattractive. Bloody feathers.

"Turn around," he told Harry. "Don't watch."

Harry's protest died on his lips when he saw Draco's face. "Fine," he said, spinning to face the far wall.

Hesitating for a moment, Draco shook his head and hoped that this wasn't an even bigger mistake than fixing the damn Vanishing Cabinet. Was there any way at all this could actually end well? And if it didn't, well, there was every chance in the world their friendship—because it was that, even if he wasn't sure exactly how it had happened—well, likely that was bloody well over too.

He glanced towards the back of Potter's head, and in doing so, caught his reflection in the mirror above his dressing table. His wings were huge as they spread out from his back and his head feathers seemed to be in even more disarray than normal. Grimacing, he tucked a belligerent feather behind his ear. The mirror provided a less than kind reminder that he was a disaster. Potter's plan really did seem to be his best chance. Still, hope warred with worry in his stomach.

"Malfoy?" Potter startled him from his thoughts.

"Yeah, yeah," he mumbled in response. "Just a moment."

Here goes nothing.

Quickly shucking his trousers and pants, Draco paused before deciding to pull off his robes as well. Then, naked as a jay bird, he tossed his clothing aside and climbed up onto his bed, scooting up to sit against his headboard, his wings spread wide behind him and only barely resisting the urge to cover his bits with his hands.

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Okay, Potter."

Harry spun around slowly and held his gaze for a beat longer than necessary before he swept his eyes down over Draco's body, stopping, finally, on Draco's prick.

"It's cold," Draco said defensively. And he was nervous...

"You're fine," Harry said, smiling slightly. "But here." He cast a quick warming spell on the room.

"Thanks," Draco cleared his throat.

"Sure."

Draco shifted uncomfortably.

"Well, then, I'll just start, shall I?" Climbing onto the bed, Harry crawled up to sit beside him, tucking himself back against one of Draco's wings.

Squawk! Squaaaawk!

Draco startled as Pierre chose that moment to swoop into the bedroom, landing on Potter's shoulder and clamping his talons into Harry's skin before uttering loud caws that must have equated to owl battle cries before finally pecking at Potter's head. Harry screeched as Draco batted the bird away and grabbed his wand to banish it from the room.

"Sorry, Potter." He flicked a healing spell at Harry's head, and a iReparo/i at the mess the owl had made of Harry's jumper. Thankfully, Potter seemed otherwise unafflicted.

"I..uh..well, no harm done, I suppose." Potter rubbed his head, then looked at Draco expectantly.

Apparently Potter still wanted to proceed.

Draco was starting to really question the merits of Harry's plan, but before he could say as much, Harry shifted on the bed and awkwardly patted him on the thigh. "I..er...ahem. Back to it then, yeah?" Potter reached his hand out toward Draco's cock but then stopped and pulled back. "Do you, er, have any...Or, wait, no, I'll just..." Pulling out his wand again, Potter murmured a spell as he touched the tip to his fingers, which instantly appeared shiny and wet. "There. Much better. Smoother and...warm. And such." Harry smiled at Draco quickly before reaching his hand out once more.

"Wait—" Draco stopped him because he couldn't not. "You really don't have to do this—"

"It's fine."

"We'll find another way," he insisted, his heart beating wildly in his throat.

"Just let me."

"We shouldn't—"

"Good Godric, Malfoy! Just let me get you off already!" Harry smashed one hand across Draco's mouth to silence him and wrapped his other hot fist around Draco's prick and tugged on it.

"Mmafkngjsssshk," Draco said into Harry's hand, as Harry's fingers slid over him. "Frhlvvvfffgdphf!"

"Oh! Sorry," Harry said, his eyes widening as he jerked his hand away from Draco's prick and removed the other one from Draco's lips. "Was that not good?"

Draco tried to breathe normally. "I...no, it's fine."

"Tell me."

"I just wasn't ready."

"Oh. Are you ready now?" Harry cocked his head.

Draco looked down at his prick, slightly shiny now with the oil from Potter's hand, but looking otherwise nearly as freaked out as he felt himself. Merlin what was wrong with him? The Saviour of the Wizarding world was sitting beside him offering a hand job, and Draco couldn't get himself together to enjoy it. Then again, it was an awful lot of pressure and he did feel more than a little like a science experiment. And it wasn't like he was at his best either, decked out in mottled plumage as he was. He frowned and shifted on the bed, wincing when his wing got stuck between Potter and his headboard. iOuch./i

"Oh! Sorry!" Potter apologized, then scrambling forward to free Draco, losing his glasses and accidentally scratching Draco's thigh with his thumbnail as he did so. Draco yelped in response.

"Shit! Sorry, sorry!" Harry grabbed his wand and cast a quick healing spell along the angry red line on Draco's leg before realizing he'd gotten the slippery oil all over his wand and glasses—not to mention Draco's expensive sheets—in the process.

Draco sighed.

"Bugger. Eh, sorry? I'll, er, try again?" Stubborn as ever, Harry furrowed his brows in concentration as he leaned in and reached toward Draco's cock once more—unfortunately ill-timed yet again as Draco was in the process of stretching back to smooth the ruffled feathers of his wing. Draco ended up bonking Potter in the side of the head with his elbow.

"Ow!" Harry rubbed his head. "Merlin, you're pointy!"

Draco raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me?"

"Er, not pointy, exactly. Just sort of, er, well, you're particularly angular, that's all. The non-feathered parts, I mean."

Draco raised his other brow to accompany the first. He may have accidentally injured the git, but Potter had no right critiquing Draco's body—naked and in all its feathered glory—while he himself was still fully clothed. That was simply unfair.

"I mean..."

This was just going from bad to worse. A complete disaster, really. "Potter, look, I don't think this is work—"

"No, no, it'll be fine. I promise. I'm usually really good at this!" Potter insisted, taking hold of Draco's limp prick once again, starting to run his fist along the length of it, his hand rough against Draco's skin. His tongue stuck out of the side of his mouth as he stroked Draco mercilessly, his other hand in a tight fist—knuckles white—resting on his lap. It was silent except for the sound of the clock ticking on his wall and the occasional squeak of the mattress when Harry shifted on his knees. Nearby, a house elf sneezed.

Draco had never felt less sexy in his life.

Harry must have seen the discomfort on his face. "Hmm, maybe just a bit more, er, oil, would feel good?" Potter asked. "Here, let's just, um...I'll just get more..." He flicked his wand directly at Draco's prick and Draco found himself covered in warm—no, hot, really, really hot

"Fuck! That burns!" Draco shrieked as the slick substance coated his cock. He dashed off to the loo for a towel, his wing knocking Harry over as he climbed off the bed.

He heard Potter's apologies from the other room as he wiped himself off with a damp washcloth, but all Draco could think was that the universe clearly hated him. He was also certain that Potter had the worst ideas ever. How could he have been so stupid to go along with one?

It had to be the ridiculous Veela hormones clouding his thinking. Of course, he wasn't absolutely certain there were such a thing as Veela hormones, but it was either that or Draco himself had wanted to give it a go, and that was simply absurd.

"Sorry, Malfoy. Sometimes when I get nervous my magic gets a little...overexcited. I didn't want the oil to be cold so I—Shit. It doesn't even matter. I promise next time—"

"Next time?" Draco said with disbelief. "Next time? You want to do this again?" He cast a quick healing spell over his reddened prick and grabbed a towel and tied it around his waist. Potter had to be kidding.

Except he wasn't.

"I'm committed to getting rid of these feathers for you. Whatever it takes," he insisted, his eyes on the ground. "I agreed to help and you're so miserable with them, so..." Potter shrugged. "It's not like I have anywhere else to be. I mean, even if you don't like me at all, you'll have get hard eventually...right? Maybe you need to close your eyes." He looked up hopefully.

Draco pressed his hands to his face, already resigning himself to a lifetime of feathers. "I think you should go."

"What? No, Draco—Malfoy—no. I can do this for you. Please. I'm usually really good at this."

Draco ignored him. "One of the elves will show you out." He summoned Lipton. "Take Potter to wash his hands and then see him to the Floo please," he told the elf.

"But—"

"'Twas an experiment," he muttered. "Only this, and nothing more."

"But Malfoy, please," Potter entreated, begging from his chamber door.

Quoth the manbird, "Nevermore."

Draco closed his eyes as Lipton took Harry's arm and tugged him toward the door, glad that Potter had been so quickly whisked from the room because his eyes became glassy almost immediately. Sitting on the edge of his bath, he realized exactly how much he'd hoped Potter's crazy idea would work—and not just because it might make his feathers disappear. Deep down he knew that their now proven complete and utter physical incompatibility meant that the growing connection he'd felt with his former arch-enemy would always be limited to a completely platonic friendship. Salazar, he'd never felt so Hufflepuff in his life, whinging away about some stupid bloke...

Grabbing Potter's arm as they laughed. Potter helping him with any and every problem he could dream up. Potter's green eyes boring into his as Draco showed off on the dance floor.

Ugh. Stupid Potter. He couldn't believe they'd cocked it up so badly.

He rubbed his eyes with his hand, wondering how their friendship had gone from simple fun to stressful enough to leave him slightly sniffly and a little hollow.

~oOo~

Chewing on his lip, Draco re-read the note Harry's owl had just delivered.

Sorry. I don't know what happened. I choked, I guess. And you clearly weren't interested so I shouldn't have forced it. Can we still be friends? We don't have to mention it again. Unspeakable, remember? -HP

Harry had to have sent the letter the instant he got home and of course proper etiquette demanded Draco's prompt response to the apologetic missive. Grabbing his quill and a slip of parchment, he scribbled a reply, scratching out each line after he wrote it. Nothing seemed right.

I shouldn't have agreed to it.
My level of interest was entirely irrelevant.
Apology accepted, but we're never doing it again.
For an Unspeakable, you sure to talk a lot.
Why is it that everything was so much easier when I hated you, Potter?

Yes; we're still friends. -DM

He fed Potter's owl a treat and handed over his reply, opening the window above his writing desk so the bird could be on its way. He then tried to return to the novel he'd been reading before the interruption, but had trouble concentrating. His mind circled around the fact that he had to write a letter to his mother the next day. As much as he didn't want to worry her, he had to face the fact that the Veela transformation was going to be a permanent part of his life, so she probably needed to know. He sighed. Pansy and Blaise, too. He'd need to tell them, as well; he couldn't put them off forever. Chicken pox followed by the bird flu? He couldn't believe they'd actually bought his excuses for his extended absence.

Tomorrow was looking to be fabulous, he thought, turning back to his novel.

He'd read the same page four times when he heard Potter's owl at the window again. Sighing, he put down his book.

Great. That's really great.
I'll try to come up with another way to get rid of your feathers, I promise.
-HP

Draco's head was starting to hurt. He picked up his quill and turned the note over.

Look, why don't we take a break for a few days? The feathers aren't exactly going anywhere and I've had my fill of being your charity case turned experiment. I need some time. -DM

He sent the bird back again, this time locking the window and drawing the curtains behind him. He'd had enough for one night and any future correspondence could certainly wait until morning. He then sent Bitsy for some headache potion and tea, the combination of which he hoped would improve the remainder of his evening.

He was nodding off, sprawled out on the sofa, his book forgotten and fallen to the floor, when his Floo flared nearly an hour later.

Lifting his head from the cushion and blinking his eyes open, Draco groaned heartily.

Potter. Again.

"Look, I know you said you needed time," Harry said before Draco could ask him to leave. "But you didn't respond to my owl and I couldn't let you think that's what I thought."

"Potter, trust me when I say that I rarely envision you actually thinking."

"Yeah, yeah. Haha, very funny," Potter said as he walked over and sat down by Draco's feet at the far end of the sofa. "Now shut your mouth and just listen, will you?"

Draco rolled his eyes.

"Look, Draco, I don't...I never thought of you as an experiment and certainly not a charity case. I mean, you may hate your new wings—which I really do think we'll find a way to get rid of—but you really should know how gorgeous they are, and how incredibly sexy you look with them. I couldn't stand the thought of you with those strangers from the club touching you because I wanted you. Not as a science experiment, you berk, but because I think you're so hot with those damn feathers that I can't seem to stay away. I hoped maybe my magic would be enough to make your Veela side want me back, but I guess that's not the case, so I'll leave you alone. But please understand I wasn't offering because I pitied you. I just...wanted you. And finding a way to get rid of your wings was a convenient excuse to have you, even just a little. I thought maybe you could want me too, if I could just make you feel good." Harry paused, scrubbing his fingers through his dark hair. "Fuck. I've messed it up. Clearly you didn't want me at all and I've made everything a giant mess. I'll go now, but for Godric's sake, I was not doing it because I pitied you, and if you felt like it was all a giant experiment, that's only because I was somehow hiding how I felt."

Harry stood and walked to the fireplace and reached for the Floo powder before putting it back and turning around. "You're completely ridiculous, you know. You are impossibly finicky; you care way too much about etiquette and pedicures and the year on wine labels; you call your house elves by the wrong names. And you spend way too much time in front of a mirror every morning making your hair all shiny." Potter put his hands on his hips. "And I must be completely barmy because I like you anyway," he huffed. "Sometimes I wish they'd assigned other Unspeakables to the Manor last year. You drive me absolutely mad and you have no fucking idea. It was easier when I just hated you back in school. But no, I had to get to know you and find out that you're so bloody charming that I can't get enough of you."

Harry paused and scratched his neck. "Fuck. I just like you, okay? Fuck."

Pushing his glasses up on his nose, he turned toward Draco. "Happy? Now you know. So go on, gloat. But if you think for even one moment that I didn't want to be with you earlier, that I wasn't half devastated that it didn't work, then you're out of your bloody mind."

Potter studied him for a moment before throwing his hands in the air. "I must be insane." He turned back and reached for the Floo powder once more, taking a pinch as he prepared to leave.

"Wait, Potter." Draco sighed, stood up, and summoned a house elf. "Lipton, can you please see to Potter's glasses?"

Potter sighed. "That's Bitsy."

"Fine, Bitsy, can you take care of that please?"

When she nodded, Draco turned back to Potter. "They're still smudged from earlier and it's making me crazy," he explained as the house elf disappeared to remove the oily fingerprints.

"Now," Draco continued. "What exactly did you hope to accomplish with this grand confession of yours?"

Potter's mouth dropped open. "You know what? Nothing. I have no idea what I was thinking. I'm leaving. Have Bitsy send back my glasses when she has a moment. I'll wear my contacts until then."

"I will not have you putting those Muggle contraptions near your already terrible eyes, you pillock."

"Then send her sooner," Potter sniped, stepping up into Draco's face.

"Don't be an arse," Draco said, utterly unable to stop staring at Harry's lips.

"Me?" Potter looked incredulous. "You're the—"

"Don't you say it."

"Don't you say it," Harry countered.

"That doesn't even make—Ugh. You were right. It was much easier when I hated you, too." Draco spit.

Harry glared at him, his nostrils flaring, his eyes wide and bright thanks to the missing glasses. Draco glared right back. And when exactly had he memorized the exact green of Potter's eyes?

"Yeah, well, you use too much moisturiser!"

Draco gasped. "You take that back!"

"No! It makes your nose shiny and you always smell like cherry syrup!'

"Well your hair looks like a bird's nest!"

"You would know!" Harry retorted.

"I hate you, Harry Potter!" And I especially hate that I like you.

"I hate you back, Draco Malfoy!" Harry said just before reaching and wrapping his hands around the back of Draco's neck, pulling him down as he angled his own face up. "And now I'm going to kiss you!"

"Fine!" Draco licked his lips.

"Fine!" Potter's kiss was urgent, heated. Draco would've hated it, except he loved it.

"I hate you," Draco insisted, pulling apart slightly, but Potter simply swept his tongue over Draco's bottom lip before kissing him again.

Draco kissed him back. "I really—" He opened his mouth to Potter, who moaned slightly in response. "Really—" Harry's tongue was in his mouth. Harry's tongue was in his mouth. "Hate you." Draco fisted Harry's robes as Harry dragged his teeth over Draco's tongue. "Despise you, in fact."

It was messy and wonderful and bloody terrifying. His pulse raced and his whole body flushed, betraying him.

"Yeah?" Harry released him, running one hand down Draco's neck, over his shoulder, and then along the top of his wing.

Draco groaned. Fucking wings. "God, don't touch them," he begged. "Please. They're hideous."

Harry took a rough breath. "They're not." He grabbed Draco's waist and pulled him closer, using his other hand to run his hand over Draco's half-feathered head. "I rather like them, actually." He blushed a little.

Draco swallowed. "So you've said."

"I mean it."

Harry reached out again to Draco's wing. Shuddering, Draco's eyes closed involuntarily as Harry ran his hand over the feathers there.

"They're repulsive," he whispered. "Please don't."

"Not to me." He pulled Draco into another searing kiss, and Draco found himself fisting Harry's robes.

"I still hate you," Draco clarified.

"I know." Harry bit at Draco's lip.

"Take off your shirt," he breathed.

Harry's eyes burned into his. "Yeah?"

Draco nodded once, and Harry released him, stepping back to peel his shirt over his head, exposing the flat of his abdomen, the smooth skin of chest, his impressive shoulders, his muscled arms. Turning to toss his shirt aside, Potter flexed and moved in a way that made Draco's mouth go dry. He was stronger than he looked, far more toned than Draco expected. He supposed being an Unspeakable must equate to extensive physical training.

Needing to touch him, Draco stepped up to Harry, trailing his hand up Harry's arm, over his shoulder, and down over his chest, feeling Potter tremble slightly under his touch. His skin was so soft over the hard muscles, even though Draco was almost certain Potter hadn't applied a moisturising lotion in his life. The lack of feathers didn't hurt either. As Harry's mouth found his again, Draco pinched his nipple. The git deserved it for being so bloody perfect without even trying.

"I want you," Harry said, pressing his mouth along Draco's jawline. "I have...for a while."

Draco groaned. He'd never expected anyone to want him again. Not like he was. And here was Harry bloody Potter, saying that very thing, seemingly unconcerned about the traitorous blood in his veins and its unfortunate side effects.

Sliding behind him, Harry kissed down his neck and buried his head at the junction where Draco's wings emerged from his back, wrapping his arms around Draco from behind. He pressed his open mouth between Draco's shoulders. "I want you."

Draco could feel his heart beating in his throat. "Don't," he begged as Harry dragged his tongue along Draco's skin.

He reached for Harry's hands, placing his fingers over Harry's. Harry's thumb stroked small circles into his skin and everywhere that Potter touched, Draco felt like he was on fire.

Harry raised his head to whisper in Draco's ear, pulling him tight against his body, his breath ghosting across Draco's skin. "They're beautiful. You're beautiful."

"Harry..." Draco groaned. Even through Harry's Muggle jeans and his own clothes, he could feel the pressure of Harry's prick against his arse. Draco pressed back against him.

Harry breathed out, a ragged puff across his neck. "Draco."

Prying Harry's hands from him, Draco spun around, reaching for the buckle of Harry's belt, his own cock hardening automatically in response to Harry this time around, even if Draco's heart was still unsettled.

The look in Harry's eyes, though...

Leaning his forehead against Harry's, Draco unfastened the belt and moved to the button and then the zip of Harry's jeans. Slipping his hand down from Harry's navel, he inched it just under the elastic of his pants but no farther, feeling the incredible heat of Harry's skin as he teased him.

"Now it's my turn to hate you," Harry chuckled breathlessly as Draco continued to rub his thumb along Harry's hip.

Draco pulled him into a rough, desperate kiss—kisses, surely—that made desire flare in his stomach.

With a deep breath, Draco finally pulled back, dragging his thumb over Potter's lips. "Undress me, you wretch. And if you use an iEvanesco/i I'll let Pierre have his way with you."

Harry took Draco's thumb into his mouth, running his teeth over the soft pad as Draco slowly pulled it back out. "You're more my type," he teased as he began to unfasten the buttons of Draco's robes. Draco was tempted to reprimand him for his less than delicate treatment of the garments, but Harry's eagerness was too endearing, and his haste too unequivocal a reminder of demanding need they shared. Within moments, Draco's robes were pulled up over his wings and tossed aside, and with a soft slide, his trousers also fell to the floor, discarded. The two of them then made short work of Potter's jeans.

He reached for Potter's hip, pulling him closer. "Nice pants," he smirked, admiring the dark green underpants and tugging at the elastic slightly so it snapped back against Harry's waist.

Potter chuckled. "What about you? Did a Gryffindor dress you this morning?" Harry grabbed Draco's arse and squeezed his bum through the material of his maroon underpants.

"Certainly not," Draco said haughtily. "Although they're not completely useless at the undressing part."

Draco wiped the grin off Harry's face by reaching between them and palming Potter's prick. Groaning, Harry pushed him backwards until the back of his legs met the sofa. He sat back as Harry stood between his legs and Draco looked up at him, ran his hands up over Potter's abdomen, simply delighting in the way Harry's muscles reacted to his touch.

Harry reached down to him then, leaned in to kiss him hungrily before falling to his knees where Draco sat. He pressed a kiss to Draco's knee. "Merlin, you're beautiful," he said, trailing his fingernails up Draco's thighs, and pressed a palm against Draco's cock. "And so hard for me."

Raising his hips in response, Draco arched into Harry's hands. His cock ached.

Harry bit his lip. "Raise up for me," he asked Draco, lightly slapping the outside of his thigh. When Draco did, Harry carefully pulled the pants over his cock and down his legs until they pooled on the floor, forgotten. "Fucking gorgeous."

Draco groaned.

Harry looked up from Draco's prick to catch his eye. "You are, you know."

There was a time Draco would have agreed with him. For now though, he supposed it was enough to believe that Harry believed it. He pulled Harry up in to a scorching kiss, his hands wrapped in Harry's hair. Potter leaned over him on the couch, one hand bracing himself against the back and the other reaching between them to wrap around Draco's prick.

Draco's breath caught in his throat as Harry stroked along his cock, and their kisses became messy as the look of Harry's fist around Draco's cock drew their attention.

It was all he could do to keep breathing as he watched, mesmerized as Harry slid back the foreskin and ran his thumb over the head of his cock.

"Can I taste you?"

"Fuck yes," Draco hissed as Harry stroked him once, twice more, and then knelt on the floor once again between his legs. Draco slid forward and parted his thighs wider and was gratified by the look of pure lust on Harry's face. Gripping the base of Draco's cock, Harry pressed the head against his mouth, rubbing the precome there over his wet, reddened lips and causing Draco to claw at the sofa cushions. He then trailed his tongue along the underside of Draco's length, over the head and back down, lightly enough to be teasing and more than enough to drive Draco mad.

"Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter..." Draco chanted. "Fuck, Harry."

Harry lapped at the tip again before finally opening his mouth, sucking in the head of Draco's prick as he stroked his hand along the base.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuuuuuuck." Draco grunted as Harry sucked him harder, deeper, as he cupped Draco's balls and twisted his fist along Draco's length.

Harry was right; he was good at this. Draco's world went hazy.

And—oh, fuck—Harry was...he was wanking as he did it. Draco could see him reaching down between his legs. He was stroking himself as he blew Draco. Throwing his head back and pinching his eyes shut, Draco arched up into Harry's hot mouth. Bloody hell.

Harry swallowed around him and Draco grunted. "Fuck. Harry, fuck."

Sitting back on his knees, Harry released him with a pop, and Draco reached for his own cock, shiny and wet, stroking it lightly as Harry caught his breath.

"Fuck me, Potter."

Harry groaned, reaching to Draco, sliding their tongues together and catching Draco's mouth in a messy kiss. He got to his feet, peeling his pants the rest of the way off and letting them fall to the feet.

"You want me to fuck you, Draco Malfoy?" Harry's voice was husky and Draco barely suppressed a whimper. His blood pulsed; his cock throbbed. He wanted Harry. Needed him. Desperately. Fucking Potter.

He kissed Potter roughly, reaching between them to stroke Harry's prick. "Unless you're not interested..."

A whining sound emerged from Potter's throat.

"I'll take that as a yes," Draco said. "Lie down, Potter. On your back," he added, thinking of his wings, awkward and exceptionally in the way, as always.

Potter couldn't have reached to the floor faster if Draco'd cast a Stupify on him. Kneeling down on the plush carpeting, Draco situated himself over Potter's waist, reaching behind him to take Harry in hand, stroking him as Potter writhed beneath him. He grabbed Harry's wand from where it had been discarded on the floor, using it to cast a charm on his hand—Merlin knew he'd learned earlier not to trust Harry with that particular spell—and then ran his fingers over Harry's dick, slicking him. He then lifted up on his knees enough that he could slip a finger into himself. He watched Harry watch him, lips parted, eyes blown.

"Fuck," Harry breathed, staring as Draco added another finger, his cock bobbing against his stomach as he stretched himself, his wings spread wide open behind him.

"I'm going to ride you now," Draco informed Potter when he was finally ready, positioning himself over Harry's cock and carefully pressing back onto it. He slid down slowly, taking Potter into him, watching Potter's muscles tense as Draco stretched around the head of his dick. Scrabbling to grasp at the rug below him for leverage, Harry rocked up and Draco sucked in a harsh breath as he felt Potter fill his arse with one long burning stroke. When he slammed down again on Harry's prick, he cried out despite himself.

Grasping his arse and holding him tight, pulling him tighter, Harry again and again lifted his hips from the floor to move with Draco, pressing into him roughly and making Draco delirious with need. Draco braced himself on Harry's stomach as Harry thrust into him, making his cock bounce and his breathing uneven.

Harry's hair was damp when Draco reached down to brush it out of his eyes—green, green eyes that he suspected could see right through him, should Harry ever put his mind to it. Intoxicating.

Draco leaned down, slowing their rhythm to catch Potter's mouth with his, needing the taste of Potter on his tongue, sucking and licking at his mouth before pressing open mouthed kisses along the salty, sweaty skin of Harry's throat.

Harry moaned and wrapped his arms around Draco, holding him tightly as Draco rolled his hips slowly on Potter's cock while they kissed. Reaching up and running his hand over Draco's wing, Harry looked at him with a sort of awe, his eyes glazed. "God, Draco, you're so fucking beautiful."

Draco's heart raced and his arse burned but seven hells, he wanted more still—more of Harry, more of his cock, more of his mouth, whatever he could get. Groaning, he sat back up, giving Harry more leverage to fill him, to shove his cock deep in Draco's arse with every frantic jerk of his hips.

The look on Harry's face was breathtaking. His cheeks were flushed and his forehead tensed as he grunted, and Draco was fairly certain he had never ever seen anything more arousing in his life.

Breathing hard, Draco reached for his cock, stroking himself as Harry moved in him, barely matching Potter's rhythm and already feeling the urgent need to come as waves of delicious sensation rolled through him. Potter's hips lifted him from the floor with each violent thrust and Draco's head fell back as he cried out, a keening sound he didn't know himself capable of on his lips. Pressure raced through his nerves and he pinched his eyes shut against the onslaught. He was coming, coming...

His toes curled and his muscles tensed until they could tense no further and he came with a choked cry, jerking and shuddering and coming completely undone as Potter held him against his body, Draco's come shooting hot and sticky between them.

His head fell forwards and he was still trembling, his heart racing, when Potter began to move again. Draco widened his hips to give Harry more room, smearing the come on his hand along Harry's abdomen as he braced himself for the erratic, desperate thrusts.

With a final jerk, Harry gasped and latched on to Draco's hips, holding him in a bruising grip as he shuddered and came. Draco trailed his fingers over Potter's abdomen as the muscles there tensed and released. And when Harry craned his neck up for a kiss, Draco obliged, tangling his fingers in the dark hair of the Boy Who (somehow, when he wasn't looking) Captured His Heart.

~oOo~

When Draco woke the next morning, he felt lighter.

It was very possibly because his wings were gone.

Every single feather. Gone.

Draco hooted with glee as he realized his newest appendages had seen themselves fit to disappear in the night. He dashed over to the mirror and examined the skin of his chest—smooth again, thank Merlin. His hair was messy from sleep but entirely lacking in feathers and his back barely even had scars where the wings had been.

A small snuffle came from the lump in the blankets on the bed. Evidently Harry had managed to worm his way into Draco's bed after their activities the evening before...

Potter. The night before.

Potter.

Potter.

Sex. With Harry Potter. Had gotten rid of his wings!

Draco did a little victory dance, a huge grin lighting up his face. It wasn't ideal, of course, but—who was he kidding? Mandatory sex with Potter? That wasn't exactly a chore, now was it?

"Potter!" Draco poked at him. "Potter!"

The groggy form grunted, still largely balled up beneath his comforter, the shock of black hair in stark contrast to the ivory pillow upon which it rested.

"Potter!" Draco tried again, poking at the covered lump. "Harry!"

A face, red from being smushed against the pillow, blinked open at last. "Yeah? What is it? Merlin, it's barely dawn!" He yawned.

"My wings, you git! They're gone!" Draco spun around, showing off his smooth pale flesh.

"Your...they're...gone?" Harry blinked at him.

"Thanks to you!" Draco exclaimed, pouncing on the bed and pressing a kiss to Potter's sleepy mouth.

"I—oh." Harry scratched his head, his forehead slightly furrowed. "That's...well, good. I...yeah. That's great. I mean, I did kinda like the—"

"And now, I will proceed to thank you." Draco clucked, climbing off the bed only to move to the foot, lifting the myriad of blankets enough to duck under them, and squirm his way up along Potter's body, sucking and licking at the various delicious morsels of flesh he encountered along the way until Potter's morning wood became property of one delightfully unfeathered Draco Malfoy.

Draco was happily slurping away beneath the covers as Harry responded with delightful whining noises when he heard an insistent pecking sound coming from his bedroom window. "Ignore it," Draco instructed from between Potter's legs.

"Uh, I think we should probably let the bird in though. It looks like a Ministry Express owl."

Draco huffed. "It'll wait."

"No, I really think..."

Draco crawled up toward the head of the bed, popping his head from beneath the sheets, pressing an open mouthed kiss to Potter's shoulder. "Fine. Let it in," he pouted.

Shoving the blankets aside, Harry walked over to the window, his cock heavy and full from Draco's attention and his arse pale and round and perfect. Harry opened the window, claiming the letter it bore. "Huh," he said, looking at it curiously. "It's for me."

"Well done. Now, come back to bed."

"Right, sure," Harry said distractedly, slipping his finger beneath the seal of the note. "Oh, it's the results from that diagnostic allergy test we did on you a few days ago, to see if there was a particular substance that was triggering the wings and feathers to be permanent." He glanced up. "The results always take a while so I had it rush owled as soon as they were done."

He studied the paperwork for a few moments, frowning. "Almond extract." He looked at Draco. "I thought you said you weren't eating anything on that list I sent you."

"I didn't!" Draco exclaimed. "Anyway, why does it matter? Our rather spectacular shagging was enough to cause the feathers to go away." Draco got up from the bed and moved over to Harry, standing behind him and wrapping Potter up in his arms. Resting his chin on Potter's shoulder, he glanced at the results for a second before deciding it was far too boring to read before breakfast.

"It's just...odd. If you're not...then why are the levels in your system so high?" Harry mused.

Draco shrugged, releasing Harry and wandering into his closet to retrieve his favourite moisturiser from its location on the back shelf. Now that he was no longer a hideously feathered monster, he'd better start in again on his regular regimen. He looked in the mirror. His neck still looked fantastic, but he was once again thankful that Pansy had shared her new recipe for the lotion; one could never be too careful, after all. Besides, he'd missed using it; he loved the way it smelled and the way the rich cream felt on his skin. He levitated his other favourites back to his dressing table as well before delightfully smearing the moisturising cream over his face and neck. He hummed happily.

Finally putting the letter down, Potter came over to him, reaching for his waist as he waited for Draco to finish and tilting his head for a kiss after Draco had.

"Cherries, again." Potter laughed. "It's the lotion, I guess. Makes you always smell like cherry or almo—"

Draco's eyes widened and he looked at Potter who was frowning. "Draco, what's in that moisturiser?"

Aloe Vera.
Lanolin.
Grapeseed oil
Ground dittany.
Shy virgin oatmeal.
Rabbit tail fluff.
Balsam of Peru.
Muggle eyelashes.
Thrice purified Seine river water.

And almond extract to balance the other ingredients and prevent the small -to medium-sized explosion that would otherwise surely result when the oatmeal merged with the eyelashes.

Fuck. Draco shook his head. "No, no. It can't be. Not the moisturiser!" he set down the container as though it were alight in Fiendfyre.

Shaking his head, Harry retrieved the allergy test results once again, pointing at them. "Your levels are through the roof! No wonder your wings wouldn't retreat! Merlin, Draco, how much of that stuff do you use?"

Draco looked affronted. "A man never tells his secrets."

Harry snorted. "You're insane."

"Does that mean I can't use the cream anymore?" Draco frowned. He had nearly eight full cauldrons of it already prepared in his potions stores. That was nearly enough for a full week!

Harry grinned. "I suppose that's up to you."

Draco bit his lip. "What do you mean?"

"Well, if you want to remain as you are now, I would strongly encourage you to avoid it. Then again—"

"Spit it out, Potter."

"Let's just say, if you decide to continue using it once in a while, because, for instance, you decide the side effects are worth it, well, I'd be inclined to agree." Harry smiled.

"You really did like them, the feathers..."

"I really did," Harry said. "They were beautiful. And you were always sort of glowing despite yourself."

"Hmm. But the shagging certainly didn't hurt."

"Huh?" Potter looked confused. "Who said anything abou—"

"The shagging. I think, perhaps, if you're amenable, we should continue. With the shagging. Just in case."

"Ahh." Potter grinned, and grabbed Draco's hip, pulling him tightly against his nude form. "Yes, that might be wise. In your condition. Just to be safe."

Draco nodded, and stepped backwards until he felt the bed behind his knees. He pulled Harry down with him when he fell back onto the soft surface.

"Brilliant," Harry breathed, pulling Draco into a deep kiss, entirely ignoring the deranged squawks of envy emanating from Pierre François's cage as they snogged until well past breakfast.